Bulgarian PM says Russian spies created rift with North Macedonia to stall EU enlargement

bne IntelliNews March 31, 2022

EU officials fear the slow enlargement process is leading to democratic backsliding in the Western Balkans, and creating opportunities for Russia and China to increase their influence.

EBRD slashes 2022 growth forecasts but only nations embroiled in war to enter recession

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 31, 2022

Ukraine's economy forecast to contract by 20% and projections worsen across emerging Europe — except for Eurasian oil and gas producers Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

The EC Economic Sentiment Index tumbles in March and price rise expectations hit record levels

bne IntelliNews March 30, 2022

European economic sentiment took a hit in March, falling in seven of the ten most important economies, as the war in Ukraine and the economic impact of extreme sanctions on Russia drive up inflation and disrupt supply chains.

Bulgarian PM offers hope of a breakthrough for North Macedonia’s stalled EU accession

bne IntelliNews March 28, 2022

Kiril Petkov says North Macedonia “has a place in the European family”, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warns further enlargement delays lay Western Balkans open to influence from third parties.

Bulgaria, Nato’s (dis)loyal partner

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 28, 2022

Bulgarians have turned against Russia and its President Vladimir Putin since the invasion of Ukraine, but politicians remain conflicted in what was for many years one of the EU’s most pro-Russian states.

Tens of thousands march in Bulgaria to support Ukraine

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 24, 2022

Demonstrators at one of Bulgaria's biggest-ever rallies called on the government to take more decisive steps to support Ukraine, and send much-needed military aid.

COMMENT: Roma civil society can learn from both mistakes and local successes to make inclusion work

Andrew Ryder, Nidhi Trehan, Marius Taba March 22, 2022

There is deep disappointment over the rate of progress of various Roma inclusion policies of the European Union during the last few decades.

Bulgaria to complete gas link with Greece as it seeks to end dependence on Russian gas

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 21, 2022

Gas link that will allow imports of Azeri gas set to be completed by June, says PM Kiril Petkov.

Bulgaria’s former PM Borissov released without charges despite gambling mogul's blackmail testimony

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 19, 2022

Current Prime Minister Kiril Petkov says Bulgaria's prosecution is not independent after prosecutors refuse to press charges.

Eastern EU member states divided over sanctions on Russian oil and gas exports

bne IntelliNews March 18, 2022

Central and Southeastern European countries are among the most vulnerable to any cut-off in Russian energy exports, but this has not stopped some of them from being very vocal in demanding tougher action.

Bulgaria’s former prime minister Borissov arrested

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 17, 2022

Gerb leader Boyko Borissov was involved in many corruption scandals during his third and final mandate, but the authorities refused to thoroughly investigate them until recently.

Bulgaria’s inflation hits new peak of 10% y/y in February

bne IntelliNews March 15, 2022

Inflation accelerated in recent months, affected by high energy prices.

CEE's arms industry seeks to profit from new Cold War

bne IntelliNews March 8, 2022

Central and Eastern Europe’s arms industry should also benefit from the shift of defence up the list of political priorities.

VISEGRAD BLOG: Nato rethinks the security of its Eastern Flank

Robert Anderson in Prague March 3, 2022

We may be witnessing the construction of a new Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe, though this time the former Warsaw Pact states of Central Europe will be on the western side.

Hungary left isolated as all other EU states announce they are quitting IIB and IBEC

bne IntelliNews March 3, 2022

The Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Romania have announced that they will quit the two Soviet-era international banks because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Payhawk becomes Bulgaria’s first unicorn after $100mn funding round

bne IntelliNews March 1, 2022

Bulgarian paperless expense management provider Payhawk will use the latest round of venture capital funding to triple its workforce by the end of the year.

Bulgarian PM sacks defence minister for soft stance on Ukraine war

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 28, 2022

Stefan Yanev repeatedly insisted that the word ‘war’ must not be used, provoking the ire of PM Kiril Petkov and many others within Bulgaria.

Russians and Ukrainians in Sofia unite in fear, grief and anger

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 27, 2022

“I want to tear apart my Russian passport … I want to cry. He is insane,” says one Russian citizen in Sofia, where residents fear for the future.

Refugees start to flee from Ukraine to neighbouring countries

bne IntelliNews February 25, 2022

Ukraine’s neighbours are preparing for the arrival of a wave of refugees following the Russian invasion of the country.

Southeast Europe’s markets plunge on news of Ukraine invasion

bne IntelliNews February 24, 2022

Stock prices plunged across Southeast Europe on February 24 as news broke of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the early hours of the morning.